Barbara Pitkethly-Roach began her eternal life Monday, March 18, 2019. She was born in Detroit, Mich. on February 9, 1929, to Rowland and Faye (Brown) Whitney.
To send flowers in memory of Barbara Faye Pitkethly-Roach, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
She grew up in Flint, Mich., and graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in education. In 1951, Barbara married Robert Pitkethly. They made their home in Battle Creek, where their two daughters were born, and enjoyed many happy years until they decided to part ways.
Barb also taught business and typing at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek for nearly 30 years, where she was beloved by her students and affectionately referred to as “Ma Pit.” She was the program director of the Lakeview High School chapter of Distributive Education Club of America (DECA); she enjoyed encouraging her students to become entrepreneurs and assisted many of them in landing their first job.
Barb was a long-time member of Westlake Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon and was also a member of the team that constructed the unique stained-glass window in the church’s sanctuary. She also met former Battle Creek Fire Chief Douglas Roach at Westlake, and they were married from 2003 until his death in 2012.
Barb was an avid gardener, a member of the Junior League, and an active member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority until her mid-80s. She loved being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her favorite moments were those spent with her daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughter, and lifelong friends. Just last month, she celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends at NorthPointe Woods, where she had resided for several years.
Barb is survived by her daughters, Sara (Dave) Paulson, of Battle Creek, and Martha Chalifoux, of Canton, Mich.; granddaughters, Emily (Trevor) Irish, of Seattle, Wash., and Katelyn (Damien) Lowe, of Canton, Mich.; great-granddaughter Liliana Faye Irish, of Seattle, Wash.; and cousin Mary Kay (Justilien) Landry, of St. Louis, Mo.